Policy: Labor

Congress to hold hearing on union efforts to organize NCAA athletes in light of Northwestern union vote

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Sports,Education,Sean Higgins,Labor unions,Labor,Education Department,NCAA,Northwestern University

Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, announced Thursday that the committee will hold a hearing May 8 on "union efforts to organize student athletes." The hearing will focus on the recent action by the National Labor Relations Board to allow an organizing election among athletes at Northwestern University.

The hearing will be called "Big Labor on College Campuses: Examining the Consequences of Unionizing Student Athletes."

"The NLRB’s decision represents a radical departure from longstanding federal labor policies. Classifying student athletes as employees threatens to fundamentally alter college sports, as well as reduce education access and opportunity. The committee has a responsibility to thoroughly examine how the NLRB’s decision will affect students and their ability to receive a quality education," said Kline.

The Northwestern athletes voted April 24 on forming a union, but the NLRB impounded the votes before they were counted. The results are being held pending an appeal by the university, which opposes allowing unionization.

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